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Thread: Dullstroom report back.

  1. #1
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    Default Dullstroom report back.

    Very early on Saturday morning my mate Neil and I left JHB to fish a private venue in Dullstroom. After a false start, Neil’s waders were not where they should have been in the boot, we were on our way. Both of us were pretty apprehensive about what to expect as the venue can be really tough in winter and from reports that I had from the last couple of trips the fishing has been really slow.

    After a quick Belfast coffee we hit the Dullstroom track. We drove through some pretty heavy fog but as we pulled into town the sky cleared and it looked like it was going to be an awesome day.

    We got to the dam half an hour after we intended and as we rigged up our float tubes and rods we watched the dying moments of the morning rise. By the time we were in the water the consistent rises had stopped and all that remained were sporadic swirls dotted across the water.

    I made my way across to the dam to a spot near the outlet that has always produced good fish, an area where a shallow weed bed drops off through some sparse reeds to the bottom of the dam wall. I plopped my fly in a channel, let it sink till it was just above the weeds and after two short strips bang I was on. A very well conditioned hen just under 1 Kg came to the net. I placed my second cast in the same spot – although I had drifted slightly south of where I started as the wind was now a consistent light breeze. The same again, two strips on the bottom and I was into a cock in full spawning colours roughly the same size as the previous fish. That was the end of the fishing in that spot for me for the rest of the day, I went back twice and there was absolutely nothing happening in that little corner. A couple of anglers tried it from the bank and I never saw another fish come out.

    I moved over to Neil on his tube who had by this time also netted a couple and lost a monster working the weed beds in the deeper sections of the dam. I changed to a faster sinking line and started testing the deep water. It wasn’t long before I was into another hen and another followed. All these fish fell to the same fly that I had been fishing all morning – a Casual Dress (un-weighted).

    Then it went dead. I changed to an orange Zonker as orange was producing for Neil and this little fly had never failed me. I took one more fish out of the same channel and promptly missed two takes. I seriously believe that sometimes trout swim directly at my float tube with the fly in their mouth and by the time I feel any resistance on my line it’s too late, no matter how fast I strip, strike and kick backwards I just look like a coot in reverse.

    It was just after eleven thirty by now and it had quietened down so we headed back to the bank for an early lunch and to restore blood flow to our toes – the water temp was just shy of ten degrees.

    The midday session was tough, nothing worked. We fished everywhere and tried everything but the fish were not showing themselves. The sky was getting hazy and the weather seemed very pre-frontal, we thought the cold weather was at least another day away. The wind had picked up a bit but there were still calm moments. We were in the midday doldrums. I think we each took another fish during this session but we were both feeling a bit frustrated and our morale was sinking faster than a 4mm tungsten bead.
    Back on the bank we contemplated our next move. A couple of other guys arrived to fish and they took up station on the dam wall, one of them was in the spot that produced my first two fish. I’m not sure if he got any more.

    I did my best to convince Neil (and myself) that the fishing was going to pick up again and that we should persevere. We did, and it paid off.

    Two more fish came to my net from the depths, both strong fighting hens. The sun was low on the horizon and we were fishing up against the side of the dam that would soon be in the shade. A sporadic midge hatch started but the fish weren’t convinced. One or two mayflies where hanging about but they weren’t bringing the fish to the surface either.

    Every time the wind dropped there was a swirl or two on the water. Then there were four or five swirls. The fish were cruising just below the surface. My 3# was loaded and ready with a suspender as the indicator and a tiny nymph just below it.

    I moved to a spot where I believed the fish where going to get busy in a deep section of the dam, just in the shade of the koppie. I placed my flies right on the edge of a wed bed. I heard a swirl behind me and looked away for a second, when I looked back at my fly I couldn’t see it on the surface, it was tiny. As I lifted my hand to take off my shades and hopefully improve my sight a fish swirled where I thought my fly might be. I lifted the rod and felt the resistance… for a second. I was too late, it was gone. I thought that was my shot and I blew it. A couple of anglers fishing nearby saw it happen and I think they shared my frustration.

    I changed to a smaller mayfly nymph dropper – there were more mays around than midges by now, not as many as a good spring hatch in Dullstroom but they were there if you looked hard enough.

    The chase began, a fish rose and I covered it. Then another behind me and lifted the line flicked it once and I was on the spot. I was turning in circles and moving up and down the bank but I couldn’t get a fish on the fly. The small crowd of anglers on the bank were all expressing the same frustrations. I calmed down moved to a spot where four or five fish were working just below the surface. Letting the flies sit on the water I waited patiently. I have to remind myself over and over to relax and be patient, when there is so much activity around me I tend to get a bit flustered and try and get a fly on every rise I see.

    My flies couldn’t have been on the surface for more than a minute and I saw them dip. Fish on. And it was a beaut. On a fine tippet I was really being gentle but I got it to the net and released it to fight another day. I can’t remember how many I caught after that but it was a fish every second cast or so, the fights were long and hard and one of them believed that its ticket to freedom was on the opposite side of the dam, I disagreed and so did my reel.

    By the time it was almost completely dark hypothermia was becoming a reality, I couldn’t grip the reel handle properly or at least I wasn’t sure that I had it in my fingers I had to keep checking. I made for the bank and out of my waders – neoprene can only do so much to keep you warm. We packed up while the bats finished off any bugs that thought they were free of danger.

    Listening to the splashes on the water as it got dark we were both glad we stayed and didn’t pack up earlier, that last hour and a half was absolute magic. It turned into a complete cracker of a day.
    everyone is a "guru" these days - re

  2. #2
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    Byron

    That was a cool story, I could actually picture all the events as if I was there..

    Welldone!
    Bubble, Bubble, Bubble and Squeak...I think this mixture is too weak!!!???" (Wrex Tarr)

  3. #3
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    I hope my trip to Natal this weekend is half as good I'll be stoked.
    everyone is a "guru" these days - re

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Byron View Post
    I hope my trip to Natal this weekend is half as good I'll be stoked.
    Lekker man, hope we get a good report back boet!
    Bubble, Bubble, Bubble and Squeak...I think this mixture is too weak!!!???" (Wrex Tarr)

  5. #5
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    Sorry to bump such an old thread but I just read this little report from Byron and thoroughly enjoyed it. Makes me want to hit the water right this second.
    Thanks Byron

    Rob

  6. #6
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    Forgot about this - when I have some time I'll add to it.
    everyone is a "guru" these days - re

  7. #7
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    Default Municipal dam report back

    I bumping this old thread because I don't want to create yet another "Dullstroom Report Back" thread and because I really enjoy Byron's report back.


    Ryan and I fished the municipal dam this weekend and the fishing was great. Over the weekend we got around 35 fish between us. We got most of them on Saturday, the fishing this morning was a bit slow, nothing huge, between 500g and 1.5kg. I got most of my fish on olive aggrovators, olive flashbacks and brown marabou buggers. Ryan got almost all his fish on boobies.
    Something I found interesting was one very small fish that I got, around 15cm, in good condition with perfect fins. Does anyone know if they stock fish this small or could a few fish be spawning in the stream flowing into the dam? Unfortunately I did not think to take a pic of this fish at the time.

    As good as the fishing was the highlight of the weekend for me was Anvil Ale House's porter.

    Here are 2 pics from the weekend, I'm sure that Ryan will add a few more.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by schloshd1; 27-02-11 at 06:24 PM. Reason: Adding info re small fish
    Andrew Schlosser

    I started out with nothin' and I still got most of it left - Seasick Steve

  8. #8
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    Nice Andrew...

    Yea,

    I would say its a stocky you caught... (the 15cm fish)
    Gerhard Delport

    We lose ourselves in the things we love.
    We also find ourselves there... Too

  9. #9

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    Awesome report back, good fishing! Sometimes you can blank on those dams. Nice going.
    I also enjoy fishing olive aggravators...it's my "go-to" fly in Dullstroom, the first fly I'll fish sub-surface.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    Awesome report back, good fishing! Sometimes you can blank on those dams. Nice going.
    I also enjoy fishing olive aggravators...it's my "go-to" fly in Dullstroom, the first fly I'll fish sub-surface.
    Thank Mike. My usual go-to flies are red eye damsels and papa roaches but they weren't producing, it was actually the first time that I've fished aggravators and I am sold.
    Last edited by schloshd1; 28-02-11 at 06:06 AM.
    Andrew Schlosser

    I started out with nothin' and I still got most of it left - Seasick Steve

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